I never know how to answer the question “How long have you been at IMPACT?”
While last month marked my first year at the company out of college, I never know how to mention that I worked at IMPACT much earlier– long before it was the inbound marketing agency and media company that it is today.
As the youngest employee of the team, you may be surprised to hear that I was also one of IMPACT’s first ever employees– number 3 to be exact.
IMPACT was founded in fall 2009, and during the following summer, I started at the company learning the basics of web development and graphic design. I was also just 16 and still in high school.
IMPACT has come a long way from the fold-out tables in the back of a condo to the HubSpot Partner of the Year it is today.
The incredible growth the company has seen over the past few years is what drew me back to IMPACT, and why I’m ecstatic to be a part of this amazing team.
It was never my overall career goal to be in the digital marketing industry, but thanks to a temporary need and an off-chance encounter, I (re)discovered the place where I fit in best and a passion that I never knew I had.
The transformations IMPACT has undergone are what have helped me find my passion for inbound, but to get the full picture, we have to go back to the beginning.
The First IMPACT
Back in the beginning, IMPACT’s main focus was basic web design.
It was always a toss up what we would do that day, whether it was hours adding products to the back-end of a Joomla eCommerce page or adding a site to countless directories to try and improve their SEO.
We also had an amazing logo:
(Make a Splash... I still have a mousepad of that.)
This was back before anyone really knew what HubSpot or inbound marketing was, so a lot of what we did took a “well let’s see what happens if…” approach.
This approach got me thinking more about what the strategy and value a company’s website could bring them.
The Second IMPACT
Enter HubSpot and inbound.
When I returned in 2013, my last summer before college, IMPACT had upgraded.
After a couple years, the marketing side of the business took over and we were full steam ahead on the inbound train. HubSpot changed the way we did everything.
The websites we made were no longer just for finding contact information or advertising for a product/service, but full-blown lead generating machines.
We had access to information we never knew existed, all for better converting visitors into contacts.
I was in love with the psychology behind it all– What made people buy things, the effects certain colors had on a user’s chances of converting on a page, how our brains logically move from problem to solution– it all fascinated me.
Biology was what I had always wanted to study (and was about to study in college), so it all made a ton of sense.
What didn’t make sense was the high-intensity and stress everyone seemed to be under.
We were all worried about our clients and whether or not they were happy with us. Everyone seemed to be more occupied with that than with what we were actually supposed to be doing for them– generating leads and achieving their goals.
Learning how agency life worked and what went into managing a marketing retainer exposed countless opportunities for me, but I never imagined being in that office for my career.
I was a total science geek, destined for med school to become the next Gregory House.
IMPACT was basically just a summer job and a talking point for my resumé; Something that rounded out my incredibly-focused career goals.
So I thought I was done with the world of inbound marketing after that summer.
The Missing Impact
Some of the amazing skills I learned at IMPACT, however, translated pretty well into the industry I was headed into.
I knew how to write better than most others in my major, and knowing about how users behave online definitely didn’t hurt either. After all, there are few industries that wouldn’t benefit from someone with a background in marketing or tech.
But plans don’t always work out.
After working in a research lab at Yale for a few months before my senior year, I quickly realized that this isn’t what I wanted to do.
The laborious processes everyone had to go through in order to get things done were intense, and the amount of time and effort required to actually get them to work just didn’t make sense.
I felt like I was wasting my time waiting around for approvals and clearances and not making the difference or helping people the way I expected.
It was clear I needed a change.
The Best IMPACT
Fate is a weird thing.
At the end of 2016, I was finishing up my final semester of college when I ran into Natalie, our Director of Talent, at a beer fest in New Haven of all places.
We got to chatting and caught up a bit, but I didn’t think much of it at the time.
The high-stress environment that once was IMPACT was totally gone.
The organization was overhauled and new processes and systems made everyone working there fall in love with it.
What started off as just an internship then a temp position, ended up being the basis of a full-time career.
When I returned, I started to see myself at IMPACT long-term, and I found I was making my own plans around the plans of the company.
My passion for inbound has been re-lit.
I get to help people and their organizations succeed like I had originally wanted to, but in a completely different way that I wouldn't have thought of if it hadn't been for IMPACT.
And now a year later, I couldn't be happy with my decision, even as the company has changed further.
That’s one of the best things about this company -- there is no end point. It’s constantly changing and iterating to continuously be the best resource out there in the digital marketing space, and it makes sure everyone here is improving right along with it– regardless of the background you come from or the experience you've had.